character names

by shelley reinhard

Question: I'm having trouble naming my characters. I want something unique and different. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Answer: If you want an unusual name, but still one that is traditionally a name in some culture, you might try baby name sites or random name generators (the Scrivener software program for writers has a good random name generator).

If you want a totally unique name, perhaps for a fantasy culture, you might try ...

1. Taking real names and spelling them in unusual ways.

2. Taking real names and swapping a few consonants. (Or do the same but with vowels.)

3. Taking real names and swapping some of the syllables with other names.

4. Look for really old names in historical documents -- 1,000-year-old names, for example. Then change them a little as in #2 or #3 above.

5. Take unusual surnames from a phone directory and make them into first names.

Comments for character names

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Jan 30, 2015
by: Anonymous

I spend time looking up name meanings. I have a character that is very associated with light or bringing light into the dark, so I researched names associated with that. The name doesn't sound like the word "light" but it is associated with the meaning. But I also named my children with names that have meaning, so that is rather my bent.

Jul 07, 2016
by: Anonymous

I give all my characters, even the minor ones, and country of origin and a family religion. I look up names for the particular religion or country and use those.

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